Top Three Grand Prix Freestyle Riders Break 80 Percent During Friday Night Lights

Wellington, Fla. – Feb 22, 2019 – The top three riders of the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle all broke the 80 percent barrier during Week 7’s Friday Night Lights at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). The athletes maintained their order from the CDI-W Grand Prix results with Kasey Perry-Glass taking the win, followed by Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and then Shelly Francis.

Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet

It was the second to last qualifying competition for riders to gain much-needed points to qualify for the FEI World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden in April. The FEI increased the requirements needed to qualify for the finals from two to three CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle scores. Prior to this week’s results, Laura Graves lead the North American league with two scores, 83.220 and 84.935 percent, followed by Shelly Francis with 79.28 and 80.535 percent. Perry-Glass putself herself into the mix by earning a second score of 83.425 percent to add to her 82.425 percent from the third week of AGDF.

Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet

In Friday’s competition, Perry-Glass rode her Olympic and World Equestrian Games mount, Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding she owns with her mother, Diane Perry. The pair earned a score of 83.425 percent in their Lord of the Rings freestyle musically designed by Tom Hunt and choreographed by Adrienne Lyle.

Representing Sweden was multi-Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Lovsta Stuteri’s 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding Don Auriello. Dancing to ‘Good Vibrations’ they placed second on a score of 80.95 percent. It was possibly the last competition in Wellington for the gelding as Vilhelmson-Silfven’s goal of 2019 is to compete at the finals on her home soil before stepping Don Auriello down from top competition.

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello

Shelly Francis and Patricia Stemple’s Danilo, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding, earned their second 80-percent in their career together by wowing the judges with their acapella freestyle. They brought the house down in their final centerline when they completed a full piaffe pirouette.

Shelly Francis and Danilo

Heading into next Week 8’s CDI-W, spectators will see a large class as riders aim to earn crucial qualifying points to solidify their positions for Gothenburg.

Results: CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / Total Score
1. Kasey Perry-Glass / USA / Goerklintgaards Dublet / Diane Perry / 83.425
2. Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven / SWE / Don Auriello / Lovsta Stuteri / 80.950
3. Shelly Francis / USA / Danilo / Patricia Stempel / 80.050
4. Yvonne Losos De Muniz / DOM / Foco Loco W / Yvonne Losos De Muniz / 71.005
5. Karen Lipp / USA / Whitney / Kathleen Oldford / 68.815
6. Ariana Chia / CAN / Teo / Ariana Chia / 68.660
7. Jessica Kozel / USA / Denzello / Jeevraj Grewal / 67.295
8. Jessica Jo Tate / USA / Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon / Pam Liddell / 66.345


Kasey Perry-Glass – CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle winner

Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet

On Dublet’s performance:
“I can tell already in the stable how he is going to do — I can feel his vibes a little bit. He was just as fussy and neurotic as he was in Aachen so I had already felt that vibe from him that he was going to perform well tonight. From the beginning, in the warm-up, he felt amazing and right with me. He tends to do that towards the end of shows. Going into the ring I was nervous that I put my music up too high but then when the music started he was right there with me and he didn’t care. I was really proud of him. I had him more put together than in the Grand Prix and I just tried to show off his highlights. Everything [was the highlights]! His piaffe and passage felt nice tonight. His changes were really good. They felt very solid.”

On tweaking her degree of difficulty:
“I haven’t decided yet when I am going to do it [change the degree of difficulty]. I would like to bring it out next week but we are still playing around with the music and I want to make sure it is perfect before I bring it out. I would like to test ride it before the World Cup if I go. It will definitely increase the level of difficulty.”

Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven – CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle second place

On her ride:
“My goal has been to get to Gothenburg for the finals. My plan has been made for that. I’m really happy with managing to ride well tonight and picking up some more scores. He has felt good all week and even eager in the stable. He has been like ‘I want to go, I want to go! Hurry up!’ He’s been on his toes. Already in the warm-up tonight he was like ‘I’m ready to go!’ He knows exactly what this is and he loves it so he is really fun to ride in the test. This freestyle is so difficult becomes it comes up so fast, so you really have to be exactly on the spot where you should be with the music. When that comes together it is such a great feeling to ride because it is like telling a story. Just to hang on and enjoy!”

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello

On her future plans with Don Auriello:
“It is not really decided. He owes me absolutely nothing but I want to do the World Cup Final. I will just go along and see how he feels and maybe if he is fresh I will maybe do some more shows [after the Finals], but he is not going to be my first horse next year. He is meant to have a good life and not go one more year of shows. So, maybe he is here next year for me to have fun! World Cup Final in my home country is what I want to do with him right now.”

Shelly Francis – CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle third place

On the audience’s reaction:
“It is very entertaining music and I make the movements click right in one after the other. So, I think it is very entertaining for the audience and they like that. It felt really quite good. I knew I was off my music a little here and there but overall he felt quite good. I was trying to keep him just a little softer looking, not quite so active and sharp. I think he did that smoothly. I feel the music and count the whole way! The horse likes it [the music]. He felt really good.”

Shelly Francis and Danilo

On her music and choreography:
“My music is from the Swingle Singers. It was Marlene Whitaker’s genius that put that together for me and I helped with the choreography.”

Clive Halsall (GBR) – President of the Ground Jury

“We saw three very professional, skillful riders, who are very good under the pressure of chasing the qualification for the World Cup. They are in a very atmospheric arena and they all have proven themselves in this environment. They were riding difficult tests and they made it look easy. That is a great skill. It was wonderful to judge!”

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